Saturday 21 September 2013

Stir-fried Runner Beans with toasted Almonds

Stir-Fried runner beans with toasted almonds recipe

Stir-Fry Runner Beans with sesame oil and toss with toasted almonds..

On the weekends, we often wander over to our local farm to pick up free range eggs.  Cartons of eggs are placed inside a cool box and left at the back door of the farmhouse.  It's a trust based system so we drop £2.50 into the coin jar, and help ourselves to two cardboard trays of eggs.  A dozen in total of unevenly shaped, different sized eggs laid by very happy hens that race towards us, clucking as we walk past the green pasture on which they graze.

Today, a large box filled with long, green beans sits beside the egg cartons.  Longer than the average green bean, and with a coarse outer skin that feels rough to touch, they are unfamiliar to me.  They look like wild beans that have originated from a lush, tropical rainforest, I think to myself, except that a handwritten sign on the box clearly says "homegrown runner beans - please take".  That's the beauty of living in the country, so many people grow their own vegetables and when they have a surplus, it is generously shared with anyone who wants them.  Eager to taste them, we take a few handfuls of beans and bring them home with us.

Now, I am well and truly hooked on runner beans, flavoursome and crunchy, they are made to go with garlic and Asian flavours like sesame oil.  Lightly toasted flaked almonds from Sainsbury's SO Organic range, are also tossed through this simple vegetable dish to bring out the delicate flavour of the beans.

Runner beans with toasted almonds 

Serves 2, as a side

200g runner beans

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 - 2 teaspoons light soy sauce, to taste
2 tablespoons of flaked almonds
sea salt, pinch


Top and tail the beans, and cut them diagonally into small pieces.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, and cook the beans for 2 - 3 minutes, until just tender.  Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a separate dry pan, lightly toast the flaked almonds, moving them around the pan for 2 - 3 minutes until golden.

In a wok (or saucepan) over medium heat, add sesame oil and vegetable oil.  Then, add garlic and salt, and stir-fry briefly.  Add runner beans and stir-fry for another few minutes until fragrant and the beans are still crunchy, finally adding the soy sauce.

Toss toasted almonds through the beans and serve.

Thank you to Sainsbury's for sponsoring products from their SO Organic range.

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